From folklore to fairy tales, there’s no denying that stories are the oldest – and the most effective – a form of communication. Branding companies in India know this. They also know that a brand story is a crucial element of branding. Yet creating brand stories that evoke emotions is a challenge arguably because business is inherently structured, compartmentalized, and pragmatic, unlike story tales that trigger wild and vivid imaginations.
Why tell brand stories as tales?
From the days of the caveman, humans are conditioned to like stories. It’s what makes people sit for hours before the idiot box watching the likes of Out of Love and Anupama. Not only do stories entice us they are intriguing and exciting. They grab attention inspire us and trigger our imagination. They keep the question of what will happen next uppermost in our mind. Any brand identity design agency understands that when it comes to branding attention and curiosity are the two most important elements for audience engagement. Branding stories that have these two elements, drive brand growth. Take for example the Just do it of Nike. Their very first ad portrayed an 80-year-old runner telling the audience he still runs 17 miles a day. Effectively using their brand ambassadors, Nike depicts how unique challenges may be overcome and inspires you (the audience) to do the same. That’s how Nike grew as a brand and that’s how your business can do it.
How can you create your brand story?
As we all know there are many types – or formats – of storytelling; some of the most popular ones being parables, romance, and adventure. You also have epics, biographies, and mythological stories. You can use any of these formats or styles to tell your brand story. The role that your consumer persona plays in the story will depend upon the message you want to convey. Nike’s consumer is obviously the hero who never fails at sports while Onida’s consumer is someone who spikes his neighbours jealousy.
How to create your brand story?
Align the story to your mission
Cadbury chose romance because they wanted to present their chocolates as the perfect gift for a loved one. Later they also included stories of other festivals like Diwali and Rakshabandhan to portray caring for family and friends. During the pandemic they showed how a neighbour wished the tenants in a neighbouring flat celebrating the festival of lights. Aligning your brand story to your mission in this manner is extremely effective as long as you have a sharply focused mission statement so the first step is creating a mission and message for your brand.
When you have a laser-sharp mission statement you know what emotions you want to evoke. The next step is to focus your brand story on that emotion. Even if you operate in an industry like construction selling cement, there’s still a story to tell. Just look at Ambuja Cement or Fevicol and their stories about strong bonds. Stories about the founder work well too – Tata is leveraging humanitarian stories about Ratan Tata projecting his simplistic lifestyle and philanthropy – all of which is true no doubt. There’s no dearth of ideas from stories of employees or founders to stories about consumer satisfaction. Remember though that if you are using a real-life story it must be authentic.
Stories that have pictures in them are far more effective and this applies to marketing as well. From social media to hoardings, television, or OTT, your stories should have vivid imagery that authenticates the dialog. With AI round the corner, this assumes even greater importance. The #harcheezpemilega campaign by coupon site CashKaro triggers greed by depicting Swati Bhargava as having got or “missed” a cashback offers. Your visuals need not necessarily be in video format. Infographics, pins on Pinterest, and images on social media work well too. Just make sure you are conveying the same message throughout.
Create a Framework
Cadbury did not randomly select the #giftforsomeoneyoulove campaign. It was a strategy carefully thought out by their brand identity design agency. From teenage love to caring for elders and celebrating with family, every aspect of life was woven into the theme. Brand stories – like any other story – must have a clearly defined framework. ThumbsUp Taste the Thunder ad series showed young macho men performing stunts suggesting that the drink was only for daring. Colgate and Asian Paints used tradition and heritage with the latter showing their brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor as having aged while the paint remains young (fresh). Remember though your consumer should always emerge victorious and successful. Even with negative advertising – such as that used by Onida – the consumer is the one who becomes the envy of the neighbours.
Any story is effective if it resolves a problem for the audience. So when creating your brand story, keep your consumer at the centre and help him clear obstacles in his path along the way. As a branding agency in Ahmedabad, we at Litmus Branding have seen that highlighting the pain points of the consumer and showing them how your product or service can help is a great converter. This naturally means that your consumer persona is of paramount importance – ergo you should have done your market research well. Talking of problem/solution format, Bajaj Nomarks who first addressed skincare has recently launched a new ad campaign featuring Bollywood actress Tapsee Pannu in a twin role with the homemaker twin resolving the skincare problem for the career-oriented twin.
The story is perhaps the best form of communication because of its attractive format and the power to evoke strong emotions through vivid imagination. We hope these tips have helped you understand how you can leverage storytelling to convey the mission of your brand to your consumer eventually driving conversions.
Meanwhile, Litmus Branding a branding agency in Ahmedabad is here to help you create your brand communication strategy. All you have to do is drop a line or make a call.